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Knowles' Theory of Adult Learning

Discuss Knowles' theory of adult learning and identify some praise, criticism or analysis of this theory.

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There are a number of educational learning theories which provide diverse perspectives on how we may learn. Malcolm Knowles (1984) provided six assumptions on adult learning. Knowles is credited in providing a great influence in andragogy in developing the "self-concept of a dependent learner in becoming a self-directing" adult learner (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p.84). Knowles did not coin the term "andragogy" as Clardy (2005) noted it goes back to nineteenth century Germany. Knowles (1984) contributed to adult learning and teaching perspectives. However, there are criticisms in labeling "adult theory" or a "critical theory" as Brookfield (2005) described that theories are individually created throughout our lives and not so much in an academic setting basis. We have the power to create our own theoretical frameworks and learning experience throughout our lives in childhood and adulthood. Hence, McGrath (2009) noted that Knowles' theory in andragogy in comparison to pedagogy the teacher does ...

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The expert examines Knowles' Theory of adult learning.